When I was in my mid-20s my friends and I hung out at a bar that had boxes of Trivial Pursuit cards at each table. We quizzed each other over a few drinks, and maybe once in a while learned a new obscure fact.

These days, some bars treat trivia not as a way for you to kill time as you sip cocktails, but as a way to get you through the door. In the Waterville area, if one desires, one can play trivia three nights a week, at different establishments.

People test their trivia knowledge during the weekly trivia night at Mainely Brew’s on Main Street in downtown Waterville on April 19. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

On Monday night, drive across the Kennebec River to The Pointe Afta in Winslow, where trivia starts at 6:30 p.m. and will cost you $2 to play. On Wednesday, hit You Know Whose in Waterville, where the buy-in to play is $3. On Thursday, you can play trivia at Mainely Brews, also in Waterville, for the low, low price of $2 per player.

No matter where you play, bring a couple friends and play as a team. Your knowledge base will vary from your friends’, and you’ll have a better chance of answering the wide variety of questions.

A couple important rules apply no mater where you play. One, do not use your cellphone. Smart phones are encyclopedias in your palm. You can look up the answer to anything. Don’t. Play with honor. Keep the phone in your pocket.

Two, don’t shout the answer, whether you’re playing or not. Tables are close together at these places. During trivia, you’ll see teams hunched forward, speaking in hushed tones over their table as if they’re planning a heist. Some teams will pass the answers to each other on scrap paper rather than say it at all.

The format at the Pointe Afta and You Know Whose is the same. That’s because your host at both is Ryan Plisga.

Plisga takes his questions seriously, and divides the 30-question contest into three rounds of 10 categories. Questions one through 10 are the easy round. The average player should be able to get at least eight of the 10 first round questions correct. The middle round is the average round. The third round is the hard round, the either you-know-it or you-don’t round. You can try to make an educated guess and hope for the best. Often, the winner at the Pointe Afta and You Know Whose is decided by which team makes it through those final 10 questions with the fewest dings.

A table of trivia competitors share a laugh during the weekly trivia night at Mainely Brew’s on Main Street in downtown Waterville on April 19. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

Of course, easy or hard is in the eye of the player. If the category is ’80s song lyrics, for example, and you spent that decade glued to MTV, there might not be a question Plisga can slip past you. If the category is Medieval Literature and you’re not up on Chaucer, the lines between easy and hard round are completely erased.

If you play at the Pointe Afta or You Know Whose, read the newspaper or watch the news beforehand. Plisga’s first category is always In The News. Questions can come from local, national, or world events. Often, they come from all three. Count on a sports category, usually revolving around whatever happens to be in peak season. In January, NFL playoff questions were asked. In March, it was college basketball. More recently, it helped to know the Stanley Cup playoffs. If you know the last Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup was Montreal in 1993, you’re ready for trivia at the Pointe Afta or You Know Whose.

Mainely Brews follows the same basic category-based trivia as the Pointe Afta and You Know Whose, but usually with six categories of five questions each. This week in history is almost always the first category, so before you show up, check the date and do a little research.

Sometimes, trivia host Luke Duplessis will go with five categories, making potpourri an extra long 10 questions.

Luke Duplesis, owner of Mainely Brews, calls out questions during the weekly trivia night at Mainely Brew’s on Main Street in downtown Waterville on April 19. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

There’s no rhyme or reason to the difficulty of the questions at Mainely Brews. If the category is Harry Potter and you’ve read all the books and seen all the movies, you’ll likely do fine. Occasionally, a math category pops up, which can be difficult to manage with a drink in one hand and scrap paper and a pencil in the other.

The biggest thing to remember is keep it light. This isn’t Jeopardy. You’re not going to run into Ken Jennings or James Holzhauer. If you play with a regular team, you’re bound to have a teammate swear up and down the only Great Lake entirely in the United States is Lake Huron, when you know damn well it’s Lake Michigan. The stakes are never high enough fight over.

If you do see Holzhauer or Jennings, though, snap a selfie and lose graciously.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

 

 

 

 

 

 


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